On November 16th, 2014, the Marketing & CPG Club hosted the 2014 Marketing Innovation Conference at Harvard Business School. This year’s theme was “Building a Consumer-Centric Strategy” and the conference drew MBA attendees from HBS, MIT, BU, Dartmouth, Tufts, and more.

The day-long conference featured 3 keynotes, 6 panels, a networking lunch and cocktail hour. As thought leaders in marketing, our keynotes delivered powerful presentations about how their company’s execute a consumer-centric strategy:

  • Michael Moynihan of LEGO shared the story of LEGO’s turnaround from near bankruptcy to a thriving company relentlessly focused on their core consumer. His story taught us all of the importance of letting “your fans own your brand.”
  • Mark Addicks of General Mills emphasized the importance of defining markets in human terms and always having a Brand Champion at the center of your brand. He shared many General Mills brand campaigns (e.g., Betty Crocker, Cheerios, and Fiber One) that effectively tailored messaging to their Brand Champion.
  • Kerri Hoyt-Pack of Nike Women’s Training closed the day by reminding us to “listen more” and “be where she is” in order to connect with and innovate for female athletes around the world.

Students learned how marketers are dealing with shrinking budgets and measuring the ROI of their marketing mix on the panel “A Marketer’s Reality: Building Brands on a Budget” and how to resonate on an emotional level with consumers in “Consumer Engagement: How to Create the Most Meaningful Connection”.

All throughout the day, attendees posted their takeaways on Twitter using the hashtag: #MCPG14. Overall, it was an exciting day to connect with other interested members of the marketing community and learn how to keep the consumer at the center of any strategy!
For the full agenda and bios on all our conference speakers, check out www.mcpginnovationconference.com.

- Megan Ritter, Marketing & CPG Club Conference VP